On 18th March, all Early Childhood Development operators were instructed by the Department of Social Development to close in order to prevent the spread and acceleration of Coronavirus infections. These included ECD centres, playgroups, and day mothers.
A rapid survey was conducted in April 2020 to understand the impact of the closures on the sector and its future sustainability. Close to 4000 ECD operators were surveyed and these were the main findings:
99% of operators reported that caregivers have stopped paying fees owing to the lockdown
83% of operators have not been able to pay the full salaries of staff over the lockdown period
96% of them reported that their income was not enough to pay their operating costs
68% were worried that they would not be able to reopen
35% of the ECD workforce in the survey was UIF registered
13% of operators were CIPC registered
45% SARS registered
The report summarises the survey outcomes and offers two alternatives of financial support that can be offered to the sector. It was compiled by Ilifa Labantwana, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, BRIDGE, SmartStart, the National ECD Alliance, and the South African Congress for ECD.